This is the audio from the September 11, 2022 sermon, “The Courage to Finish Well!”, shared by Tom Lemler at the Deer Run Church of Christ.
Text: Joshua 23 & 24, 2 Timothy 3:10 – 4:8
When it comes to living out a time for courage, how you finish is of utmost importance. God promises the crown of life to those who persevere and are faithful to the end. When we examine the life of Joshua, we learn to live with the courage to finish . . .
- Wisely. Joshua 23:1-5, 2 Timothy 3:10-11
- Finishing well requires a recognition of both how we got to where we are and how we will get to where we are going. Joshua showed great wisdom in making God the hero of the story of the nation of Israel and their entrance to the promised land. When we accept the fear of the Lord being the beginning of wisdom, we are able to submit to His ways and plans regardless of how comfortable or uncomfortable they make us feel. Living with the courage to finish wisely means that we will consistently give God the credit for His faithfulness and for anything good in our life.
- Enlisting. Joshua 23:6-8, 2 Timothy 3:14-17
- Finishing well requires that we are actively involved in enlisting others to be full participants in the kingdom of God. Just as our learning and equipping should be never-ending, our teaching and training of others should continue all of our life. As Joshua advanced in years, he understood the need to enlist others to not just belong to a nation but to be a people of God. Living with the courage to finish enlisting means that we will always seek to make God known and lift up Jesus in ways that He can draw others to Himself.
- Loving. Joshua 23:9-11, 2 Timothy 4:2-5
- Finishing well requires that we are loving God and loving others to the very end. Just as God’s love for us calls us into full obedience, our love for others should direct them to a life lived in obedience to God. Joshua’s love for God and for the people of Israel directed that he be honest with the people in regard to what would happen if they obeyed God and what would happen if they disobeyed. Living with the courage to finish loving means that we will love people enough to be honest about their real need for Jesus.
- a Legacy. Joshua 24:15-16, 2 Timothy 4:6-8
- Finishing well not only requires that we leave a godly legacy for others to follow, it creates that legacy. The Bible tells us that the people of Israel obeyed God throughout the lifetime of Joshua and throughout the lifetime of those who had been taught by Joshua. The legacy of instruction and of life left by Joshua was incredible. Living with the courage to finish a legacy means that we pass along to others all that we have received from God.
Today, how will you prepare to finish WELL?